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20120917
20120917
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attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi, libya. nbc's brian mooar has details. >> reporter: was the attack on the u.s. consulate in libya spontaneous or did terrorists use a protest over an anti-islamic film as cover? >> opportunistic extremist elements came to the consulate as this was unfolding. they came with heavy weapons, which unfortunately are readily available in post-revolutionary libya. >> reporter: libya's interim president says it was coordinated, but not by libyans. >> it was planned by foreigners, by people who entered the country few months ago. >> reporter: libyan officials say they've rounded up dozens of suspects. the fbi is hoping to deliver a definitive answer on what happened, but has been unable to reach the consulate in benghazi because it's still too dangerous. the waves of anti-american protests from north africa to asia appear to be ebbing, but critics of current u.s. policy say the protests are not the problem, they're a symptom. >> if we all decide to rally around the video as the problem, we are going to make a serious mistake. >> reporter: isra
current assessment is that what happened in benghazi was, in fact, initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in cairo, almost a copycat of the demonstrations against our facility in cairo, which were prompted, of course, by the video. what we think then transpired in benghazi is that opportunistic extremist elements came to the consulate as this was unfolding. they came with heavy weapons, which unfortunately, are readily available in postrevolutionary libya. and it escalated into a much more violent episode. obviously, that's our best judgment now. we'll await the results of the investigation, and the president has been very clear we'll work with the libyan authorities to bring those responsible to justice. >> was there a failure here that this administration is responsible for, whether it's an intelligence failure, a failure to see this coming, or a failure adequately protect u.s. embassies and installations from a spontaneous reaction like this? >> david, i don't think so. first of all, we had no actionable intelligence to suggest that any attack o
was suggesting weakness and now the tarke on our consulate in benghazi where four americans were murdered. >> we express immediately when we feel that the president and his administration have done something which is inconsistent with the principles of america. chris: a similar test after the failed mission to rescue the iranian hostages, during the presidential campaign of 1980, governor ronald reagan did not use a vulnerable moment to crilt size president carter. -- to criticize president carter. >> words should be few and confined to our prayers. because of the extremely sensitive nature of the situation, i am convinced that it is and would be inappropriate for me to go beyond the statement i have made to you at this time. chris: david, he certainly looked presidential even then as a candidate. and by not talking at a time of confusion, if you will, this time, however, romney jumped. how do you look at that? >> ronald reagan sounded presidential precisely because he was calm, because he didn't attempt to assert himself. didn't try to take advantage. mitt romney sounded like a presidential can
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